Navy Board Eastern Department
Boston September 13-1779
To Samuel Nicholson Esq. and the other Officers appointed a Court martial to sit on board the Deane Frigate the 14th Inst[ant] At 10 o’clock in the Forenoon for the tryal of Dudley Saltonstall Esq. late Commander of the Continental Ship Warren agreeable to our Warrant dated the 7th Day of this In[stan]t September.
Whereas the General Court of the State of Massachusetts Bay have by their Resolve of the 11th Inst[ant] requested us to postpone the G. Court Martial from Tuesday next to the 28th of September Current—and whereas the Connexion and Circumstances of the Matter relating to the failure and losses at Penobscot under it proper that no proceedings should be had on G. Court Martial in the Tryal of said Capt. Saltonstall until that time.
These are to require you after having met & qualified yourselves to Adjourn to the G. 28th instant and then to proceed on G. Tryal agreeable to the Authority given you by Warrant.
True Copy from the Original
Geo. Richards Jud. Advoc.
A true copy, examined
Navy Board Requisition
To the Court Martial to
Adjourn Sept. 13, 1779
Massachusetts General Court requested that the Navy Board delay their trial until the committee had finished their proceedings and made a verdict. This put Saltonstall at a distinct disadvantage in his own trial because his key witnesses had gone back to sea and the Massachusetts Committee placed the entire blame of the Expedition on him.
William Vernon, a Rhode Island merchant, was President of the Eastern Naval Board.
James Warren of Massachusetts, a member of the Eastern Naval Board, had strong ties to his home state and their interests, having served on the Massachusetts General Court and close friend of the Adamses.